Wednesday, 17 September 2008

The End Of An Era

The Last UK Outing

Last night I went out as Rachel for the last time in the UK. In less than two weeks I, and my family, will be emigrating to Australia and waving these shore bye-bye.

Appropriately, and coincidentally, I wore pretty much the same outfit I wore last October on my first major public trip out - a meal with my wife, brother and sister in the centre of Birmingham. This time I was going out with Mrs Rachel again, but meeting up with the three work colleages who know about Rachel. Oddly enough they were all people who, for various reasons, were unable to make it to my official work leaving-do on Friday, so it was a proper chance to say farewell to them. But it was also the first time they had met me as Rachel, which was an odd experience for all of us. They'd seen photos, of course, but the real thing is always slightly different. Better, I hope :-)

Anyway we had a meal and a drink at a nice pub/restaurant in Ash. They were also fashionably late, which meant that Mrs Rachel and I had a panicked few moments wondering if we'd got the right night or the right pub even. We even both ambled around the place looking to see if our friends had turned up through a different entrance and were sat somewhere else. Guess which one of us attracted the most attention there ...

The last couple of weeks has also seen my last Transdoori curry-night and my last trip to the Surrey Swans. Thank you to all of the friends we have made over the last year. Your support has been invaluable, and we will keep you acquainted with our adventures Down-Under via this blog, my photos and all of the usual forums. But that's it. In a few days 'Rachel' will be packed up for transit to Australia and there will be a (brief) break in her activities. Maybe, if there's space, I'll pack a 'stripped down' Rachel in my luggage, but otherwise she's going in the crate with the bulk of our other possessions, and making a long slow sea journey. So, until she catches me up, bye for now.

The Last UK Outing

Monday, 1 September 2008

A Year On ...

I realise that it's over a month since I last posted, and I have allowed a couple of personal anniversaries to pass by unnoticed.

At the end of July I should have marked the passing of the first year since Mrs Rachel first met Rachel. Although I had come out a couple of months previously, we had left the actual presentation of me in femme mode until we were both settled and ready. And when we could find some time away from the children.

So it was, at the end of July, we went into London where I had a session booked at Adam & Eve, twith Mrs Rachel as an observer. The idea was that instead of just seeing Rachel appear 'fully-formed' (and, remember, at this stage she had never even seen a photo of me dressed), she would see me transformed bit by bit, which we hoped would reduce some of the shock. Obviously it was a nervous time for both of us; neither of us knew what the reaction would be.

I think you can guess, from the fact that I am writing this, that things went well. Mrs Rachel didn't freak out. Yes, it was hard for her. I think it still is. But she coped and we realised that should could live with me appearing, from time to time, as The Other Woman. We even went out for lunch together at a local cafe. More importantly we felt confident enough to invest in something I didn't have at that point - a wardrobe at home. We hauled off to the infamous Doreen's where I was able to pick up my 'look'; all the basics I felt I needed to be Rachel. This was the point where I stopped being someone created, in part, by a dressing service and took full control of my appearence.

Needless to say that my wardrobe has expanded somewhat since then. I'm a tranny. It happens.

With that milestone out of the way we started telling family members. The big one was telling the children, who accepted it with little problem at all. They knew that we had some kind of issue that was being resolved, but not what it was, but when they finally found out they were accepting and understanding. They saw me, pretty much in bloke mode, trying on a skirt. They had a play with my wig and boobs. And then, towards the end of August, we put aside a Saturday evening and Rachel came to tea. The children saw me fully dressed for the first time. And they didn't freak either.

Obviously there's more to these tales of acceptance and understanding than I've written here, but that would make this post far longer than it needs to be. Suffice to say that, thanks to a wonderful family, I have been able to happily and comfortably express myself as Rachel and, I hope, have been a better person because of it.